You're a star

5 things you didn't know about the lives of stars

How much do you know about the life and death of stars?

NASA

NASA

Where are stars born?

A. In a nebula

B. In empty space

C. In the explosion of an old star

D. In a black hole

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A. In a nebula. A nebula is a vast cloud of dust and gas. The dust and gas slowly collapse into a star, and nuclear fusion starts in the core. The star is now in its “main sequence” of life.

NASA

In the core of a main sequence star, nuclear reactions fuse hydrogen into which element?

A. Carbon

B. Oxygen

C. Helium

D. Iron

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C. Helium. For each atom of helium, four hydrogen atoms fuse together. This reaction keeps the star burning for millions — if not billions — of years.

NASA

How long does a star’s main sequence last?

A. 10 billion years

B. 80 billion years

C. 20 million years

D. All of the above

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D. All of the above. A star’s main sequence lifetime depends on its mass. Our Sun’s main sequence will last about 10 billion years, while a much larger star will only live in its main sequence for 20 million years, and a much smaller star for 80 billion years.

NASA

True or False: all stars die by exploding as a supernova

A. True

B. False

C It’s complicated

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B. False. Only very large stars, those at least 8 times the size of our Sun, explode in supernovae.

NASA

How will our Sun die?

A. It will expand into a red giant, then shrink into a white dwarf

B. It will expand into a red giant and then explode

C. It will collapse as a white dwarf

D. It will explode as a supernova

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A. When the Sun runs out of fuel, it will expand into a red giant and engulf the inner solar system. After a few more million years, it will shrink into a white dwarf.

Take more quizzes here.

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